Caruso pays respect to Folayang

Published October 31, 2020, 4:48 PM

by Carlo Anolin

Photo from ONE Championship

Australian fighter Antonio Caruso showed a lot of respect and sportsmanship after defeating two-time lightweight champion Eduard Folayang Friday night in ONE: Inside the Matrix at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

After referee Justin Brown raised the left arm of Caruso as the winner of the three-round lightweight bout, the Australian warrior knelt in front of Folayang as a sign of utmost respect.

Caruso whispered nothing but good words to the Team Lakay veteran, who he considered a “legend” already in the field of mixed martial arts.

“He said that he had a great respect for me [and that] he’s been following me since the start of [my] ONE Championship [career],” the 35-year-old Folayang told sportswriters in a post-match press conference. “And he was very glad that we fought together.”

Folayang, for his part, also had some good advice for Caruso, who clinched his first win in ONE Championship to improve at 8-1 MMA record.

His advice?

“Keep it up. Just continue on doing what he’s doing right now. He’s with the right team. He will keep on pushing to [achieve] his dream to be a champion someday,” said the Igorot warrior, who now holds a 22-10 card.

Caruso scored a unanimous decision, coming in strong early in the first round with his grappling skills before going to toe-to-toe with Folayang’s striking prowess.